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$35 Million Chittenden Superior Court Verdict for Child Sex Abuse Survivor

A Chittenden Superior Court jury returned a $35 million verdict against Scott Isaacson of Hyannis, MA on Friday, April 18, 2014, for sexually abusing a child. The jury verdict includes $20 million to compensate the now 24-year old survivor.

Isaacson repeatedly abused the child in Massachusetts and Vermont while the child was between the ages of 3 and 9 years old. In addition to the compensatory damages, the jury’s verdict includes $15 million in punitive damages.

Gravel & Shea attorneys Jerry O’Neill and Amanda Hemley Paulino represented the survivor.

Attorney O’Neill, who has successfully represented survivors of childhood sexual abuse by sexual predators who were priests, parents, uncles, neighbors and family friends, said that the verdict sends another strong message that Vermont juries will not tolerate anyone, regardless of his or her position or status, taking advantage of children.

O’Neill and Paulino proved Isaacson’s sexual assaults on the survivor over a period of six years through the testimony of the survivor, as well as other witnesses, including witnesses who testified that Scott brought the young girl to Vermont to ski. Isaacson denied ever assaulting the girl, denied that she had been assaulted, asserted that if she had been assaulted that it was by someone else and denied ever bringing her to Vermont — for any purpose.

For further information, contact Jerry O’Neill at Gravel & Shea – 802-658-0220.

Brett Curtis and the Rutland Herald Win FOI Award

Brett Curtis and Rutland Herald FOI AwardMatthew B. Byrne and Robert B. Hemley congratulate Brett Curtis and the Rutland Herald on winning the New England First Amendment Coalition Freedom of Information Award.  The FOI Award is given to journalists for a “body of work that protects or advances the public’s right to know under federal or state law.” Click here for a copy of the article.

Mr. Curtis and the Rutland Herald won for their work in exposing the use of pornography by Rutland City Police Department personnel.  Mr. Curtis and the Rutland Herald obtained access to City records after a multiyear litigation that went to the Vermont Supreme Court twice. A copy of the opinion is here.

Court Dismisses Putative Securities Class Action

A litigation team led by Bob Hemley and Matt Byrne scored another victory for the founder and officers of a publicly-traded company in a proposed securities class action. On December 20, 2013, Judge William Sessions dismissed the claims with prejudice.

The victory follows a dismissal that Gravel & Shea obtained in a related proposed securities class action on September 26, 2013.  Rather than amending their complaint, the plaintiffs in that action elected to pursue an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

A copy of the opinion is available here.